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MEN  OF MATHEMATICS
converted from Judaism to evangelical Christianity in his
sixty-eighth year.
Another of Kronecker's teachers at the Gymnasium also
influenced him profoundly and became his lifelong friend,
Ernst Eduard Kummer (1810-93), subsequently professor at
the University of Berlin and one of the most original mathe-
maticians Germany has produced, of whom more will be said
in connexion with Dedekind. These three, Kronecker senior,
Werner, and Kummer, capitalized Leopold's immense native
abilities, formed his mind, and charted the future course of his
life so cunningly that he could not have departed from it if he
had wished.
Already in this early stage of his education we note an out-
standing feature of Kronecker s genial character, his ability to
get along with people and his instinct for forming lasting
friendships with men who had risen in the world or were to rise,
and who would be useful to him either in business or mathe-
matics. This genius for friendships of the right sort, which is one
of the successful business man's distinguishing traits, was one
of Kronecker's more valuable assets and he never mislaid it.
He was not consciously mercenary, nor was he a snob; he was
merely one of those lucky mortals who is more at ease with the
successful than with the unsuccessful.
Kronecker's performance at school was uniformly brilliant
and many-sided. In addition to the Greek and Latin classics
which he mastered with ease and for which he retained a life-
long liking, he shone in Hebrew, philosophy, and mathematics.
His mathematical talent appeared early under the expert
guidance of Kummer, from whom he received special instruc-
tion. Young Kronecker however did not concentrate to any
great extent on mathematics, although it was obvious that his
greatest talent lay in that field, but set himself to acquiring a
broad liberal education commensurate with his manifold
abilities. In addition to his formal studies he took music lessons
and became an accomplished pianist and vocalist. Music, he
declared when he was an old man, is the finest of all the fine
arts, with the possible exception of mathematics, which he
likened to poetry. These many interests he retained throughout
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